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North York Moors Walk
Beck Dale & Rievaulx from Helmsley

Nat Park - North York Moors - North York Moors West

County/Area - North Yorkshire

Author - Michael Chinn

Length - 9.8 miles / 15.8 km    Ascent - 1000 feet / 303 metres

Time - 5 hours 50 minutes    Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SE609838
Lat 54.246274 // Long -1.066922
Postcode YO62 5AZ (approx. location only)
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Ordnance Survey Explorer OL26Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL26Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 100Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 100Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Beck Dale & Rievaulx from Helmsley
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This is the final stage in a series of circular North York Moors walks around the Cleveland Way. It starts and finishes in Helmsley where you can either park in the pay-and-display off the aptly named Cleveland Way (which is quite expensive) or further out of the centre of town which can be difficult particularly during the simmer months. Alternative free parking is available in the lay-by on the B1257, opposite the turn off for Hawnby, which is also on route. The route takes in Beck Dale, the River Rye, Rievaulx Abbey and Helmsley Castle and completes the section of the Cleveland Way from Rievaulx bridge to Helmsley.

Take the B1257 out of town signposted towards Stokesley. After passing a sign to the Roman Catholic Church on your right, in a few yards, take the footpath immediately off on the right. It goes alongside the beck then crosses the beck via a footbridge. Go left after crossing the footbridge. Continue up the track, passing a sawmill on your left, up Beck Dale which feels pleasantly secluded but not overwhelmed by the woods on either side.

The main path is clearly signed through Beckdale East Wood, Ouldray Wood and Collier Hag Wood. After 3.5km, take the main path uphill to the right when you will reach a path signposted to your left. The path goes through the wood skirting a field on your right to a meeting of paths (grid ref. SE594877) as you emerge from the trees.

With a signed gate to your right your path is immediately downhill to your left, look carefully as it may not be immediately obvious. Descend the path towards the beck, cross it and climb up the far side following the path as it bends to your left. Cross straight over the main path.

The path becomes unclear and difficult to follow. Most importantly keep heading west as you zig zag along through the woods. You should pass a two-way path sign. After 1.5kms, you should emerge onto a meeting of paths. Follow the main path to the right which gently descends. Where it levels out and joins a meeting of paths, take the obvious track on your left and follow this uphill and to your right. You will come out at a gate overlooking Oscar Park Farm to your left (grid ref. SE578882).

Take the track along the side of the field, then head towards Oscar Park Farm, going through the farmyard to follow the farm track to emerge on to the B1257. Turn left along the road. After 100m there is a reasonably wide grass verge on the left-hand side and although the road can be busy it is a safe walk to the track off on the right opposite the MP at grid ref. SE574865.

Go through the metal gate set slightly back from the road and follow this track downhill, with good views to the abbey as you descend to reach the road at Rievaulx Church. Turn right through Rievaulx and pass the remains of the abbey as you walk down the road towards Rievaulx Bridge. Turn left on the road away from the bridge and continue along the CW, initially along the road, then off on the track that climbs up through Quarry Bank Wood then skirts Whinny Bank Wood and Blackdale Howl Wood.

As you approach Helmsley there are good views to the right of the castle below you and you enter Helmsley on the road past the pay and display car park on Cleveland Way.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1920 Rievaulx Moor from Cowhouse Bank - moderate - 9.5 miles/15.4 km

Walk 1704 Nunnington & Harome from Oswaldkirk - moderate - 11.5 miles/18.7 km

Walk 2702 Ampleforth, Shallow Dale, Yearsley Moor & Wilderness - moderate - 9.5 miles/15.4 km

Walk 1524 Rievaulx Bridge & Wass from Cold Kirby - moderate - 12.5 miles/20.3 km

Walk 3398 Rollgate Bank & Aumery Park from Fadmoor - moderate - 11.0 miles/17.9 km

Walk 3581 Gormire Lake from Sutton Bank National Park Centre - easy/mod - 3.4 miles/5.5 km

Walk 2566 Rievaulx Abbey from Kilburn, near Thirsk - mod/hard - 15.0 miles/24.4 km

Walk 1498 Kilburn White Horse, Cold Kirby, Murton, & Sutton Bank - moderate - 14.0 miles/22.8 km

Walk 1622 Hawnby, Bilsdale West and Wetherhouse Moors - moderate - 8.3 miles/13.5 km

Walk 1542 The Rudland Ridge - moderate - 10.1 miles/16.4 km

Recommended Books & eBooks

The Cleveland Way Map Booklet

The Cleveland Way Map BookletMap booklet of the Cleveland Way National Trail, a 177km (110 mile) walk around the North York Moors National Park. This booklet is included with the Cicerone guidebook to the Cleveland Way and the Yorkshire Wolds Way, and shows the full route of the Cleveland Way on Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps.
More information

The Cleveland Way and the Yorkshire Wolds Way

The Cleveland Way and the Yorkshire Wolds WayA walking guidebook to the Cleveland Way and Yorkshire Wolds Way National Trails, plus the Tabular Hills Walk. Crossing the North York Moors National Park, coastal scenery and quiet countryside, the three routes can be joined to create an easy circular route of over 250 miles (400km). Includes a 1:25,000 scale OS map booklet of the Cleveland Way.
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NavigationThis pocket handbook to navigation will help you master the necessary map and compass skills for mountain walking. Chapters include map scales, symbols and contours, grid references, map reading, bearings, route planning and night and bad-weather navigation, as well as navigating with a GPS.
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CBD For Walking & Hiking

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Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.